Automated Morphological Analysis of Bone Marrow Slides for Leukemia Diagnostics


The cytological bone marrow examination serves as clarification of variations in a blood smear differential. It is also used for the clarification of anemia, as exclusion of bone marrow affection at lymphoma and at suspicion of leukemia.

The morphological evaluation of bone marrow cells is the basis for the creation of the diagnosis and for decision support for further diagnostics. Developments such as the demographic change and rising costs in the health care sector require the centralization and automatization of the correspondent cytological examinations which are not possible at the moment.

Goals and Innovation

The Fraunhofer IIS is developing methods and systems for the analysis of bone marrow smears. The slides are digitized with automated microscopes and are analyzed by powerful computers. In the captured image data relevant regions are determined and the available cells are segmented automatically and separated from the cells in the neighborhood. The maturation stadiums of blood cells can be characterized, classified and evaluated by a variety of features which describe the cell morphology. The analysis is crucial for further diagnostics and therapy.

Clinical Impact

Due to the demographic change and rising costs the availability of specialized personnel for the microscopic differentiation is declining. There is an ongoing trend towards centralization of specialized laboratories which requires efficient automated solutions.

Automated solutions provide the potential for higher and long-term availability of necessary expertise. An acceleration of diagnosis of urgent cases and enhanced therapeutic achievements are getting possible. Furthermore the quality level is raised by standardized and documented diagnosis and leads to more efficient processes.

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